Family caregivers’ role implementation at different stages of dementia
Huei-Ling Huang,1 Yea-Ing L Shyu,2,3 Min-Chi Chen,4 Chin-Chang Huang,5,6 Hung-Chou Kuo,5,6 Sien-Tsong Chen,5,6 Wen-Chuin Hsu6,7
1Department of Gerontological Care and Management, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 2School of Nursing, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 3Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 4Department of Public Health and Biostatistics Consulting Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 5Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 6School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan; 7Chang Gung Dementia Center, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore family caregivers’ role-implementation experiences at different stages of dementia.
Patients and methods: For this cross-sectional, exploratory study, 176 dyads of family caregivers and their community-dwelling elderly relatives with dementia were recruited from the neurological clinics of a medical center in Taiwan. The Family Caregiving Inventory was used to assess family caregivers for caregiving activities, role strain, role preparation, and help from others at different stages of care receivers’ dementia.
Results: Family caregivers’ caregiving activities were related to patients’ stages of dementia. For patients with mild dementia, caregivers provided more assistance in transportation and housekeeping. In addition to these two activities, family caregivers of patients with moderate dementia provided more assistance with mobility and protection. For patients with severe dementia, family caregivers provided more assistance with personal care, mobility and protection, transportation, and housekeeping. Overall, family caregivers reported having some preparation to provide care; the most difficult caregiving activity was identified as managing behavioral problems.
Conclusion: This study’s results provide a knowledge base for designing dementia stage-specific interventions in clinical practice and developing community-based, long-term care systems for families of patients with dementia.
Keywords: behavioral problem, illness trajectory, role strain, caregiving activity, preparedness
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